Sebring tack establishes Walk of Fame
Legends from all forms of motorsport have been gracing the landscape of Sebring International Raceway since the 1950s. Now, memories of those legends - drivers, promoters, manufacturers and loyal fans - are immortalized at one of the world’s most famous racing venues. A novel personalized brick program, featured on the walkway leading up to the doors of the Gallery of Legends building at the Sebring circuit, displays 44 bespoken pavers.
|Don Panoz unveils Walk of Fame bricks|
The names that appear are of those who believe in the tradition and spirit of America’s greatest sports car race. They include such names as Tres Stephenson, General Manager of Sebring International Raceway; Bobby Rahal, team owner of Rahal Letterman Racing; and Cindy and Doug Robinson, Director of Administration and Executive Director at IMSA.
“It is a way to be a part of the history and support the future of the track for others to enjoy,” Cindy Robinson recalls as she continues to share her personal raison d'être for purchasing a brick. “My daughter Lauren (who turned six on February 14) has come to every Sebring event since she was three weeks old. She started walking at this event after just turning one, so it holds a lot of memories for us as a family.”
Jan Shoop, Gallery of Legends Coordinator, shared Sebring’s story behind the project’s inception. “The brick paver program was established by the Board of Directors of Sebring Hall of Fame Inc.,” she said, “a Florida non-profit corporation, to raise funds for the Gallery of Legends building project and to enable supporters of the project to permanently honor friends and family members.”
Gallery of Legends
Seamlessly, after stepping off the brick path, the Gallery of Legends building continues to showcase the racing timeline of sports cars and racing legends of Sebring International Raceway. Aligned on the rear wall of the building are plaques commemorating inductees including Alec and Mary Ulmann, Juan Manuel Fangio, Carroll Shelby, Porsche, Dan Gurney, Sir Stirling Moss, Mario Andretti, Bobby Rahal, Ferrari, Phil Hill, Briggs Cunningham, Brian Redman and of course American Le Mans Series founder and Sebring International Raceway owner Dr. Don Panoz. Roger Penske, Hans Stuck, Derek Bell, David Cowart and Audi were the newest honorees inducted in 2008; the bi-annual induction returns in 2010.
“In 2007, the Board decided to construct this permanent building at the raceway to serve as a permanent site for the Gallery of Legends, to honor its inductees and to be available for rent to car clubs and other organizations and individuals for special events,” Shoop stated.
With the 57th Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring presented by Fresh from Florida occurring in just under a month, race fans can walk the illuminated path into the Gallery of Legends to see the “mini-museum” of vintage race cars relevant to the history of Sebring and the American Le Mans Series; the week of March 16 will mark the next milestone in Sebring history, the 100th racing event of the American Le Mans Series.
The Personalized Brick Program continues to have un-named bricks. For all those who would like to aid in the preservation of Sebring’s past and build a passageway to its future, please contact Jan Shoop at the Sebring International Raceway at (863) 655-1442. Various sizes are available.